Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Thai takeaways

One: Inevitably, as the world becomes smaller, the Thai language picks up smatterings of English. Not as much as in some other Asian countries: the lack of a colonial past means that there isn't the semiotic infrastructure that drops English words into, say, Hindi or Tagalog. But it happens, and in the midst of a staccato burst of Thai, what sounds like a fragment of an American sitcom pops out.

The other day, I was in a taxi, and the driver was contemplating the traffic. "Oh. My. God." he said. And you could hear the full stops.

Two: This morning I was at the immigration department, applying to renew my work permit. "This photo is same as the one last year," said the man behind the desk. I had to agree, but suggested that I'm the same person as I was last year. "This old photo," he continued. "Need new photo, more recent. And different colour shirt this time as well."

One of my friends pointed out that he just got a Thai passport for his 10-month-old son. The photo will be valid for five years, shirt and all.

My parents are rolling into town tonight, for the last leg of their round-the-world shenanigans. Will be doing touristy things with them, involving beaches, ruined temples and possibly horses, over the next 10 days-ish, so posting may be a little erratic during that time. Be good, and if you can't be good, be... well, bad, I suppose...

In the meantime, I know YouTube is the last refuge of the blogger bereft of inspiration, but this is fab: 'All The Rage' by The Royal We.

8 comments:

llewtrah said...

The Oh.My.God. reminds me of a trip to Egypt. Round the main archeologic sites are are vendors of all ages. At the sphinx was a kid of 7 or 8 years old selling toy camels from a hand-basket:

"Genuine made in Taiwan, five pound whole bloody lot"

I wonder what cheeky tourist taught him that line!

Geoff said...

Are you still wearing that same old shirt, Tim?

Jun Okumura said...

Not as much as in some other Asian countries: the lack of a colonial past means that there isn't the semiotic infrastructure that drops English words into, say, Hindi or Tagalog.

Japan does not have a colonial past (it has a colonialist one), but the Japanese language is chockfull of Englishy words and their truncated versions. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that thailand (like Japan) was never colonized but (unlike Japan) did not go into full modernization mode when the Europeans and Americans moved in.

Billy said...

I am very careful when I travel not to wear the same shirt as in my passport photo.

rivergirlie said...

when passport officials start commenting on you attire, something is seriously wrong.
lovely clip - i've been to a few barbecues like that ... well, a bit like that.

Annie Rhiannon said...

Visits from parents make for great blogging, I reckon.

Annie said...

Tim! Come back soon! It's not the same without you.

FirstNations said...

if you come back i promise i will post up the most amazing, beautiful example of stranglish i have yet come across.